Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our Brain Works in Story

“Because fiction uses metaphor, character, situation, and temporal sequence, there is a layered, complex network of meaning and information. The reader is able to select and reorganize this to make it relevant, even to make it understandable, to her own experience, which is stored in the form of story in her mind.”
- Gold, Joseph. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 35

Our brain naturally organizes things and events into story. It is just the way it works. We think in story, we organize events and situations into stories, and we recognize and identify with other stories.

Story seems to be the only thing that all humans share. No matter what the culture or geography, humans create and use story in much the same way. It has been this way since the start of recorded history, and I am sure even since the first day man learned how to communicate with one another.

I believe that story is also one of the building blocks in the complex thing we know as life. It was there before we discovered it. And it is so integral to our life that we can’t imagine life without it. No one can live without story. Story is the nature of reality.

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